Bad News for International Students Planning to Work in Canada

Important Update for International Students in Canada

Calling all international students in Canada with dreams of working off-campus! There’s been a change to the rules regarding how many hours you can work while studying. Here at VisaCraft, a leading visa consultant and provider, we understand how crucial working off-campus can be for your financial well-being and career goals. That’s why we want to keep you informed and offer support as you navigate these updates.


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The Change: Back to the 20-Hour Limit

Previously, international students enjoyed a temporary relaxation of the 20-hour per week off-campus work restriction. This meant you could work more during breaks and full-time during semesters. However, this flexibility has come to an end as of December 31, 2023. Now, international students will revert to the conventional 20-hour limit for off-campus work.

What This Means for You

If you depend on off-campus work for income or gaining valuable experience, this change requires your attention. Working beyond the 20-hour limit without proper authorization could put your study permit and legal status in Canada at risk.

Are There Exceptions? (Maybe!)

While the window for unlimited work hours has closed, there’s still a chance you can qualify for extended work privileges. Here’s a breakdown of eligibility:


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  • Study Permit Applied On or Before October 7, 2022:

If you applied for your study permit before this date, you might be eligible for extended work hours under specific conditions. These include:

* A valid study permit.
* Full-time studies at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI).
* Approval for a study permit but not yet arrived in Canada.

However, there are additional requirements. You must have entered Canada or re-entered by December 31, 2023, and have specific conditions on your study permit allowing extended work hours.

  • Study Permit Applied After October 7, 2022:

For students applying to extend expiring study permits (between November 15, 2022, and December 31, 2023), the conditions are:

* Original study permit extension application submitted by October 7, 2022.
* Valid study permit and full-time studies at a DLI (part-time if final semester).
* Entered Canada or re-entered by December 31, 2023.
* Specific conditions on your study permit allowing extended work hours.

How to Know If You’re Eligible?

Here’s what you need to check:

  • Be present in Canada or have re-entered by December 31, 2023.
  • Hold a valid study permit.
  • Be enrolled full-time at a DLI (part-time for the final semester).
  • Look for these specific conditions on your study permit: “May work 20 hours per week off campus or full-time during regular breaks” or “May accept employment on or off campus if meeting eligibility criteria.”

Important Reminders

Following these conditions before starting off-campus work is crucial for both you and your employer. Disregarding these rules may lead to losing your study permit and potential deportation.

What Can You Do Now?

While the reinstated 20-hour limit presents a challenge, don’t despair! Here are some options to consider:

  • Explore alternative income generation: Look for on-campus jobs, scholarships, or work-study programs offered by your university.
  • Focus on career development: Use your limited work hours for internships or volunteer positions relevant to your field of study.
  • Seek professional guidance: VisaCraft’s immigration advisors can help you understand your options and navigate these changes.


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VisaCraft: Your Partner in Canadian Education

At VisaCraft, we specialize in helping international students achieve their academic dreams in Canada. We understand the complexities of immigration regulations and can provide valuable guidance throughout your study journey.

Here’s how we can help:

  • Visa application assistance: We can assist with the entire study permit application process, ensuring you meet all eligibility requirements.
  • Post-study work permit guidance: Maximize your chances of securing a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) after your studies.
  • Immigration updates: Stay informed about the latest changes to Canadian immigration policies and their impact on international students.
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Don’t let these changes hinder your Canadian education or career aspirations. Contact VisaCraft today for a free consultation!

Let’s work together to turn your Canadian study dreams into reality!

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